The Postscript: Matching chairs may define the stage of your relationship

Published 12:09 am Wednesday, August 25, 2021

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Carrie Classon' postscript, the orange leader

The Postscript:
By Carrie Classon

My husband, Peter, and I have matching folding chairs.

Every Thursday evening this summer, we have attended the outdoor concert held in a local park. The music is usually good, but the food trucks are undeniably the center of the experience. Our favorite is the “Tot Boss” that sells tasty, hot tater tots out the window of the truck.

Peter and I bring our own chairs. We get comfortable in our folding chairs, eat our tater tots, listen to the music, and watch the people and dogs go by. It’s hard to beat a night of outdoor music, tater tots, and people-watching.

The variety of folding chairs is remarkable.

There are low beach-type chairs that only lift the behind of the concertgoer a couple of inches off the ground, and there are exceptionally high chairs that look as if they are intended for use while casting a fishing line. There are the old-school webbed folding chairs, and there are tiny camping chairs, some of which snap together like umbrellas, and others that require at least an undergraduate degree in engineering to assemble. But, almost always, the chairs come in sets of two.

Each couple has somehow decided what sort of couple they are—whether they are the “fancy floral print chairs” type, or the “20-year-old lawn chairs stashed in the garage” type. They all have somehow agreed that, yes, this is the kind of couple we are, and they show up every Thursday night, toting their matching chairs.

Of course, there are exceptions.

Couples who are not really couples yet do not have matching chairs. Even if you had two chairs on hand, it would be presumptuous to bring a matching chair on a first date. It would imply a level of commitment that might frighten off your prospective partner. This means that dating couples have to find park benches (which are not nearly as comfortable and are always in short supply) or sit on the ground, sometimes without even a blanket.

But among established couples, I occasionally see one that has not agreed upon their chair policy, and I do worry about them.

Last night there was a man who had decided on a comfortable-looking camping chair emblazoned with the logo of a popular sporting goods store. His partner had only a folding three-legged stool and, at first, she opted against even using that. She sat on the ground before reluctantly unfolding her chic little stool, looking thoroughly miserable. I felt pessimistic about their relationship. I hate to read too much into these things (but I will anyway) and say that this couple may have issues that extend beyond their ability to find matching chairs. Naturally, I hope I’m wrong.

Looking around, I wonder how all these couples found their way to their matching chairs. I’m betting there are as many stories as there are sets of chairs. I imagine most of these couples have one member with stronger opinions about folding chairs. In our marriage, Peter is that person. Peter will assure you that (unlike all the chairs of our neighboring concertgoers) our rather heavy folding chairs provide adequate back support, and Peter is all about a supported back. I’m happy with his selection. I’m just glad he didn’t choose an uncomfortable little stool like that poor woman in front of me.

It delights me being surrounded by all these different sets of chairs filled with people eating tater tots. Peter suggested that, next week, we should bring matching cloth napkins. I think that might be a very nice touch.

Till next time,


Carrie Classon’s memoir is called “Blue Yarn.” Learn more at